Minnesota’s offense scores double digits in road sweep

The Gophers scored four goals in under two minutes during Saturday’s game.

Gophers forward Kate Schipper maneuvers the puck away from a Yale player in Ridder Arena on Nov. 20, 2015.

Joe Sulik, Daily File Photo

Gophers forward Kate Schipper maneuvers the puck away from a Yale player in Ridder Arena on Nov. 20, 2015.

Tommy Sletten

The Gophers offense escalated quickly on Saturday — less than seven minutes into the first period, Minnesota scored four goals in under two minutes en route to a 5-3 victory.

The win closed out a sweep over Minnesota State Mankato in which the Gophers scored 10 goals over the weekend in their last road series of the regular season.

“Really good to come down and score 10 goals for the weekend,” said head coach Brad Frost. “Scoring is something we have been struggling to do, but you score five goals in each game, and you’re going to win most of those.”

Saturday’s scoring explosion began between the 6:50 and 8:21 marks of the first period. No. 4 Minnesota (21-5-3, 17-4-3 WCHA) scored four goals, kicked off by forward Kate Schipper.

Sophomore forward Taylor Williamson followed less than 30 seconds after, and defenseman Sophie Skarzynski and forward Kelly Pannek continued the goal flurry to put Minnesota up 4-0 early.

Schipper scored again in the second period, her third goal of the series.

“I thought we came out strong in both games. I think we were strong in the D-zone and strong on the attack,” Schipper said. “All the up, I thought we played really well.”

Minnesota State (6-22-3, 3-19-2 WCHA) was able to get three goals to try and heed a comeback in crunch time but couldn’t equalize the score for a 5-3 Minnesota victory.

Goaltender Sidney Peters made six saves and let in one goalwhile sophomore Emma May made eight saves and gave up two goals.

The Friday game went as smooth as any game could for the Gophers with a 5-0 shutout that featured five different players scoring for Minnesota.

Skarzynski started off the scoring two minutes into the game, assisted by forward Nicole Schammel and defenseman Lee Stecklein.

Pannek scored her 15th goal of the season less than a minute later.

Just after the five-minute mark of the second period, forward Sarah Potomak scored on the power play, furthering Minnesota’s season-long dominance in special teams.

Junior Cara Piazza and Schipper both scored later in the second period, both fresh off of injuries.

Peters made nine saves in the shutout performance, and freshman Serena D’Angelo made three saves in her third period play.

Schipper finished the weekend with six points, three goals and three assists to lead the Gophers.

Potomak finished with five points on the weekend as well.

Minnesota will close out the regular season at home with series against North Dakota and No. 1 Wisconsin.

“I think we’re just going to take it one game at a time and play the whole 60 minutes and play the best we can,” Schipper said.